Monday, April 2, 2018


That's crazy? Yes, lots of risks taken if we consider that Szymon Kuczyński, the Polish sailor that is doing that, is making it solo and non stop. I am not an apologist of promoting craziness but the fact is that this sailor had done it already by the Panama canal four years ago on the same boat. I posted here about it:

This circumnavigation is a completely different affair, he is not only doing it by the Horn, sailing on the Southern ocean at high latitudes, but he is also trying to beat the "record" circumnavigation for small boats established by Alessandro Di Benedetto 8 years ago on a modified 21ft mini racer, a kind of record I don't think  should be encouraged.

I mean the sail circumnavigation record  on the smallest boat makes about as much sense as the  solo record circumnavigation for the younger or oldest person, or for the biggest sailboat. 

It is just too dangerous and on the sportive level it means nothing. Sure one has to be a great sailor to do that but there are a huge number of great solo sailors and the competition between them in equal terms is what counts for sportive meaning. The Mini transat results are by far more meaningful regarding the competitiveness of solo sailors on small boats than any of these circumnavigations that are adventures.

Confirming the risks these high latitude circumnavigations in small boats have, both Benedetto and Szymon had the boats crippled near the Horn, having capsized over 90º. Benedetto lost the mast and had to improvise a jury rig that allowed him to complete the circumnavigation.

Szymon has not lost the mast but has made a bent on it and it was so weakened that he had to dismount the boom and strengthen the mast tying the spinnaker pole around it, using also several cables for better support. He is only using forward sails to diminish mast lateral stress.

Benedetto not stop circumnavigation on the mini racer and Szymon one on the Maxus 22 will remain as incredible feats not only in what regards sailing but mostly in what regards living for half a year under atrocious conditions in a tiny space crowded with all the food one needs for survival for that time. 

Let's hope his mast holds on till the end. He is not far from finishing, but not far is still a lot of miles to cover. He is entering the doldrums and approaching the equator, almost entering North Atlantic. You can follow his track here:

The Maxus 22 is a polish made boat, a good design but this boat was modified expressly for doing a circumnavigation and the differences in strength, seaworthiness and stability are huge. 

The original Maxus 22 is a category C boat, a boat for sheltered waters when this Maxus 22 could probably bee certified as Class A and certainly as B.

This boat, the Puffin, has not made "only" two circumnavigations with this sailor, but also other offshore voyages and among them one made by two Polish girls, Katarzyna Sałaban and Dobrochna Nowak, from Poland to Iceland and back, a cruising voyage this one.

Some interesting data from that voyage: Maritime miles: 3411 Sailing time: 700h. Average speed; 4.87kt. Engine hours: 0.  Number of hours in the wind over 6˚ B: 150h.  Wind over 40 knots: 48h. Wind above 50 knots: 8h

The objective is to prove that it is not needed a big and expensive boat to cruise offshore. 

Benefiting from the publicity these extensive offshore voyages  have done to this boat the shipyard could and should make a replica of this very special Maxus 22 and offer it as a small series, as an offshore category A or B sailboats, even if at the cost of a much higher price. I would be very interested in knowing how much such a version would cost. 

 I hope you don't buy a standard Maxus 22 and try to sail it offshore, much less to cross the Atlantic on it. Remember the standard Maxus 22, in all its comercial versions is only certified category C, an inshore sailboat:" boats operating in coastal waters and large bays and lakes". All this publicity about a Maxus 22 circumnavigating can be dangerous if someone thinks that they are talking about a standard Maxus 22.